Saturday, May 8, 2021

INVISIBLE INK -- 5 Reasons to Ghostwrite


By Cal Orey

Ghostwriters might not see their name in print,

but the work is varied and even in demand

I am a ghostwriter. I am often on the job writing books for someone else. For example, writing as a military wife, I dished out heartfelt feelings in a woman’s magazine about my husband’s service in Iraq. Writing as a witty English doctor, I prescribe anti-aging secrets in a self-help book. Writing as my sensitive mixed-breed cat, I dispense advice to pets and humans in a bimonthly horoscope column.

            Sound like fun? For writers who don’t mind losing a byline, ghostwriting is an interesting and potentially lucrative career option. Here are five reasons why you should consider this often-overlooked writing path.

1 Interesting assignments

Ever wish you were someone else? As a ghostwriter, you can live your dream vicariously—without having to get credentials or be reincarnated. Being a “ghost” is like channeling into someone else’s body and mind. For example, I write for my 5-year-old cat, Kerouac, who pens the column “What Do the Stars Hold for Your Pet?” for a pet magazine. Not only is his name on the masthead, each column pays for his premium cat food and toys.

            Eric Neuhaus, a New York ghostwriter, did the writing and more for a book by fitness guru Joe Decker As part of the assignment, Neuhaus and a diet consultant cooked up healthy versions of traditionally unhealthy dishes such and meatloaf and fajitas. “The kitchen in my one-bedroom apartment became the test kitchen,” Neuhaus says. “I bought another book on how to write recipes. All of this was trail by fire. I never thought in m wildest dreams that I’d be testing recipes.”

Ghost Tip: “If you enjoy people, ghostwriting is a way to delve into some of the most unusual people on the planet,” says Marc L. Weber, a former ghostwriter.

2 An occasional credit

When I was assigned the Iraq article for Complete Woman, I collected the very personal first-person narratives of two military wives, using their unique voices to put together their heart-warming tales. I received an “as told to” author credit.

Ghost Tip: If you think the book has potential to be a bestseller, request co-author credit. But if the project is an author’s tool (i.e., selling products), credit isn’t a big deal.

3 Appreciative clients

“One of the most surprising facts I have learned about ghostwriting is that there are some extremely intelligent people out there who cannot put anything onto paper,” Habert says. “For some reason, somewhere between the thought process and the actual movements of their pen or fingers on keyboard, they become babbling fools.”

            In my ghostwritten book on anti-aging, I noticed while the doctor had good command of the English language, his prose tended to be dry. I was hired to “dumb down” his health advice and product information. And the doctor appreciated my ability to do just that.

Ghost Tip: “You have to check your ego at the door,” cautions Deborah Kotz of Silver Spring, Md., who has worked as a ghostwriter on several health books. “Realize that you are the ‘writer’ and not the ‘author.’ There’s a big difference between the two. You are not the authority. So, you have to convey the message that the author wants to convey.”

You have to check your ego

at the door. Realize that you are

the “writer” and not the “author.”

4 Big-money potential

Some book advances can make you smile. Case in point: I just signed a book contract for a five-figure deal, travel expenses and bonuses. For the next five months, I will feel financially secure as I ghostwrite about a fascinating and controversial topic. How rich is that?

Ghost Tip: “If you think the book isn’t going to get that six-figure advance, settle on a fee upfront for your services,” Neuhaus says. “If you think it is going to be a blockbuster project, then negotiate a percentage of the advance and royalties.”

5 Unlimited prospects

The best part of ghostwriting is that it’s like a deep well that never goes dry. Habert understands the glory of ghostwriting. “It is a lucrative source of writing, not only in a monetary manner but also in the volume available,” she says.  Weber adds that a baby boomers age, “that generation becomes interested in holding on to its memories, so there is more work for ghostwriters to do than ever before.”

Ghost Tip: “Network as much as you can,” Weber says. “Make sure people know you have the talent to help them."

            Each in his or her own way, Habert, Weber and Neuhaus have discovered that ghostwriting is a good avenue to a never-ending road of projects. You, too, can arrive at that point. Just put on your mask and go to work.

Getting Started

Look close to home: Offer to be the ghostwriter for your family, friends and co-workers. Don’t rule our your kids or pets, either.

Develop a specialty: “Whether it’s fitness or fashion, write about what you love and have a passion for,” says New York City ghostwriter Eric Neuhaus.

Network with other ‘ghosts’: Often, ghostwriters will be busy with projects and may refer clients to you for a finder’s fee.

Discuss the editing process: If you want to avoid ghoulish re-dos, talk with the author about edits before you begin. Personally, I have incorporated the phrases "No revisions" in the agreement. A dentist to hair stylist may make minor tweaks--but countless changes? Not a chance.

Get it in writing: “If you’re going to collaborate, you’re going to need a written contract or agreement that spells out show does what and how much you get—and when,” Neuhaus says.

Tackle Tasks:  Outlines, restructuring and crafting, developing characters, writing prologues, cliffhanger chapters, and WOW endings, settings, description, dialogue -- and much more!

Remember, everyone has at least one book in them:  It’s your job to connect mentally and emotionally with someone who want to hire a ghost—namely, you.

Published in The Writer (since 1933, RIP)

BIO: CAL OREY, M.A. Meet a super versatile author-journalist, columnist & ghostwriter (fiction: crime, romance, sci-fi, adventure, psychological thrillers, memoir & most genres) and a known on-air personality... 
I'm a born and raised Californian who keeps it real. I hold two degrees in English (Creative Writing) from SFSU, and pen the "hugely successful" Healing Powers Series, available at all fine bookstores --all 9 books have been graced with online bookstore website Bestseller banners; (translated in 25+ languages), many featured by Good Cook and Literary Guild book clubs to Newsmax media.
The Healing Powers of Herbs & Spices: Timeless Treasures #9 published in 2021 by Kensington  
It has made its way to being a pick in Woman's World Magazine Book Club, and covered by Booklist, American Global News, GlobalInformerNews, NYC Daily Post, New York Daily, City Buzz News, Huffington Post, on board with Newsmax, and in more than 75 libraries worldwide (multiple branches, many copies), articles in hard copy and online magazines... noted on C2CAM, KSFO...

The Healing Powers of Superfoods book Hits #1 Bestseller on Kobo!

 By Cal Orey

Check out The Healing Powers of Superfoods on Kobo!

And The Healing Powers of Superfoods has made its way on amazon, too! Not to forget getting kudos by Newsmax! (Take a peek! gift book and a super comprehensive summary!)

The Healing Powers of Superfoods: A Complete Guide to Nature's Favorite Functional Foods
By Cal Orey

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices is a Mover and Shaker in 2021

 By Cal Orey 

UPDATE: It is early May, a time when herbs are blooming from the West to East Coast and in between. And today, I was informed that the new release may debut in Newsmax Magazine June issue!  

Meanwhile, Old Bay Seasoning is in Demand! According to McCormick Lawrence Kurzius, McCormick's chairman and CEO, that's one product that the company has had to work to keep on supermarket shelves. "Oh my gosh, the demand for Old Bay has been extraordinary, and we've been hard-pressed to keep up with it," Kurzius told Yahoo Finance Live."  Discover all the spices in Old Bay Seasoning, different blends, and how to make your own! Paprika, pepper, and so many others! Also, check out the recipes in The Healing Powers of Herbs & Spices: Timeless Treasures. Yes, McCormick spices are included!

* * *

In April, The Healing Powers of Herbs & Spices author's words made an appearance in Huffington Post -- dishing on the wonders of the flavor and versatility of bay leaves!  The story was picked up by NY Post, NY Daily News, Citibuzz, and many, many more publications!

Recently graced with the Bestseller banner for the book on Walmart's website, today in the top 100 bestsellers (health genres) on Amazon; in 75 libraries (multiple branches, books on hold or checked out) worldwide! Still on page 1 of bestselling herbs and spices books on Barnes and Noble...  Newsworthy, popular Newsmax is on board with the fresh book, #9! and purchased hundreds of copies! Covered in newspapers to online magazines...  And the year is still young!

 ...we're thrilled about the new offering in the Healing Powers series from bestselling author Cal Orey featuring 50 recipes and A-to-Z guide cataloguing most versatile herbs and spices for flavoring food, as well as preventing and curing illness." -- Woman's World magazine, Book Club: Nonfiction

As in her previous bestselling books, Cal Orey combines groundbreaking research into all these health and weight loss benefits with home cures, cosmetic uses, household hints, dozens of heart-healthy Mediterranean style recipes, legends, nutritional charts, and heartwarming anecdotes. --Tathaastu Magazine, book review

Not only is the book a guide for people who love to cook and bake, but it offers a fun way to learn through legends, stories and many of Orey's experiences derived from both childhood and present times. -- Tahoe Daily Tribune, book review

The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices: A Complete Guide to Nature's Timeless Treasures. The ninth installment of the Healing Powers series from nutrition writer Orey explores how herbs and dried spices can provide home cures, weight loss benefits, and beauty treatments.  -- Publishers Weekly

... Orey's ninth title in her Healing Powers series is part cookbook, part healthy living reference...After the educational parts and charts, most pages are devoted to nearly 80 recipes for almost every possible eating occasion: jumbo anise biscotti, cayenne spicy salsa, saffron baked custard, spicy meatless shepherd's pie.... An herb a day just might keep the doctor at bay. Includes glossary and resources. --Booklist 

Herbal medicines can be helpful in treating many medical concerns as well as be used to support our health. These natural healing modalities 
discussed in Orey's refreshing book for  the 21st century well-being  have been part of my integrative family practice for nearly 50 years. -- Elson Haas, MD ( is the author of 11 books including Staying Healthy with the Seasons and Staying Healthy with NEW Medicine.

I loved the complexity of it: there are personal stories from the author which bring flavor to the pages, there are a lot of details about the chemistry and the history of the spices and, of course, their benefits for health. These benefits are represented in many forms, each spices has a dedicated page, but here are also charts and several health issues that have suggested herbs that can alleviate these issues. There are folk types of advice mixed in, beauty and home benefits from using herbs and a lot of recipes. -- Reviewer NetGalley

It's very refreshing to come across a book packed with solid, helpful information on healing and wellness that doesn't try to discredit modern medicine. There is absolutely a place for both in our lives, and crucial information is being lost in the delirium of "internet research." -- Reviewer NetGalley

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Spice Up S'mores for the Herb-alicious Health of It!

 By Cal Orey

Welcome to sweet old-fashioned S'mores. These graham cracker sandwiches are traditionally toasted over a campfire. Or a marshmallow, held by a metal skewer, can be heated over a firepit until the white puff it is light brown. Then, you place the toasted marshmallow on a cracker with a square of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars and top it with another cracker.

As history goes, S’mores graham cracker marshmallow chocolate sweet treats were a popular Girl Scout deal back in the Sixties. Often, they were made over a bonfire and included singing campfire songs and sharing spooky stories.

In the 21st century, on the South Shore, I was invited by a neighbor to a bar-b-que. This party was a semi-disaster. I’m a vegetarian so the burgers and hot dogs theme fizzled. And when I brought a big bag of marshmallows the host turned her nose up at my sweet gift. She mumbled, “I don’t like those puffy things.” I darted, “Everyone loves roasted marshmallows!” And the bickering escalated. So, I took my unwanted bag of marshmallows back home. Then, I resorted to cooking an indoor variety of traditional S’mores. I enjoyed my warm goodies in the company of my dog and cat; and watched the Hallmark Channel movie where everyone ends up happy.

Fast forward more than a decade later. This time around, I have updated a healthier version of S’mores.

21st Century S’mores

Dark chocolate squares (I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Caramel Squares.)

Graham crackers (I used the whole grain, low-fat cinnamon Honey Maid brand. Try Honey Maid made with real honey.)

Marshmallows (I used the traditional type at the grocery store; but you can purchase online all-natural vegan type without any artificial ingredients. Or try toasted coconut marshmallows.)

Add-ons: Nuts (walnuts or almonds, chopped), cayenne pepper, ground (optional), mint sprigs *More herb-alicious ideas in the new book The Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices: Timeless Treasures

Indoor Version: While S’mores is traditionally toasted over a smoky, open flame outdoors, this favorite treat can be made another way, too. Each cracker can be topped with chocolate, one marshmallow, then put into a flat pan and under the broiler for both the chocolate marshmallow to brown and melt.

You can also pop a graham cracker open face topped with chocolate and a single marshmallow in the microwave for a few seconds until it is warm and gooey. Place the two crackers together. Other ways to make it inside the comfort of your home include: The cracker sandwiches can also be made by roasting a marshmallow on a metal skewer over the flame of a wood-burning fireplace or open fireplace, a stovetops flame, in a microwave or with a s'mores-making kit. *If roasted outdoors, the graham cracker sandwich can be wrapped in a piece of foil.

While it’s not summer yet when folks savor S’mores outdoors, these indoor springtime graham cracker treats are a nostalgic favorite that can be enjoyed by everybody at any age. Also, the array of ingredients is healthier. And, by offering different crackers, chocolate types (white, milk, dark), nuts, spices and herbs -- everybody will be getting along to enjoy a TV filmfest together. But note, bring your own TV and/or film.

-- Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils, Herbs and Spices) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is

Sunday, May 2, 2021

HONEY Book Gets Best Seller Banner (Again)!

The Healing Powers of Honey: The Healthy & Green Choice to Sweeten Packed with Immune-Boosting Antioxidants 


by Cal Orey  (Author)

Part of: Healing Powers (9 Books)




(Fight allergies, get slim, energized!)

Discover Honey's Amazing Bee-Healthy Powers

Did you know?... Known as Mother Nature's "nectar of the gods," honey was praised for its healing powers as far back as 5,000 years ago by Egyptians.
Drawing on the 21st century honey buzz, health author Cal Orey reveals enlightening honey home remedies, straight from the book The Healing Powers of Honey: A Complete Guide to Nature's Remarkable Nectar! (Kensington)  (NEW gift size 416 pages just released! Available at all fine bookstores!)

Here are common health ailments from A to Z and amazing at-home honey cures. These are tried-and-true folk remedies based on scientific studies, real-life stories, medical doctors, researchers, and beekeepers. But caution, consult your health-care practitioner before putting to work any honey cure.

* ALLERGIES (Stop seasonal misery): Dealing with annoying sneezing, a runny nose, and coughing is no picnic, thanks to seasonal pollen. But honey may come to your rescue.
What Honey Rx to Use:  Try eating a tablespoon of locally produced honey. Proponents of honey tell me that your immune system will get used to the local pollen in it (it should be within a 50-mile radius from where you live). *BLACK TEA
Why You'll Bee Happy:  By taking the honey cure, you may lose your allergy symptoms. It's worth the effort and is less pricey than a visit to the doctor or an allergist. Honey may enhance the immune system to build up a better arsenal against airborne allergens--and help you breathe easier. Honeycomb may line the entire breathing tract.

* ANXIETY (Beat the jitters monster): When anxiety hits (often worsened by stress; and the pandemic lockdowns aren't helping)  you know it like when an earthquake strikes. Anxiety can wreak havoc on your nervous system and up your odds of experiencing heart disease, stress eating, and other health problems.
What Honey Rx to Use: If you're under pressure and feeling high anxiety or sense a stressful event is in the works, make a cup of chamomile tea. Put in 1 teaspoon of your favorite honey. Repeat twice a day as needed. *CHAMOMILE TEA
Why You'll Bee Happy:  Honey--all hundreds of varietals--is touted by folk medicine healers for its calming effects. The natural superfood can help sooth your nerves rather than put you in higher anxiety mode. The relief if provides may be due to its multiple vitamin B content--anti-stress vitamins.

* ENERGY DRAIN (Beat low energy): Getting your Zen back is a good thing, but then what if your energy plummets?  Liquid gold may be the answer again.
What Honey Rx to Use: Each morning include a teaspoon of bee pollen in your breakfast. Go ahead and take it solo. Or try The Honey Association's Energy Drink recipe:  ¼ pint orange juice, ¼ pint natural yogurt, 2 tablespoons clear honey. Place all the ingredients in a liquidizer and blend until smooth. Pour into two tall glasses. Serves two people. *WHITE OR GINSENG TEA
Why You'll Bee Happy: Honey is a source of natural unrefined sugars and carbohydrates, which are easily absorbed by the body. That means, you'll get a quick energy boost with long-lasting effects. Athletes include it in their daily diets. It was even used by runners at the Olympic Games in ancient Greece.

* WAIST WHITTLER (Blast belly fat): Twitches to tummy bulge... if you have a bulging tummy, you'd probably consider a sore throat is easier to get rid of. But wait; there are things you can do to get a flat tummy.
What Honey Rx to Use:  Both morning and night, drink an 8-ounce glass or mug of tea (dandelion or parsley boasts diuretic effects), with a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Team this potion with grazing and watch your fat and sugar intake. *GREEN OR BLACK TEA
Why You'll Bee Happy: Honey and apple cider vinegar contain the bloat-busting mineral potassium. Also, turning to honey will help you to eat fewer sugary treats and enjoy a flatter stomach.
          So go ahead and use the type of honey advised or your own preference; all-natural, raw honey, dark varietals are recommended for best results. (Warning: To avoid infant botulism, do not fee honey to an infant.)